Living on TV’s Death Row

Writer Josh Friedman, the showrunner of TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONCILES, blogs about his final days on the series…and what it's like to be cancelled. 

Everyone says having your show cancelled is like a death but I've been dead before and at least when you're dead you don't get thrown off the Warner Bros. lot for haunting your old parking space. They probably mean it's like the death of a friend or a family member but that shit only hurts when it's YOUR friend or family member and even then it's mitigated by age, lifestyle and whether that person was a Hollywood friend or a real one and whether that family member left you money.

Losing your show is more like a surprise divorce where you get served papers in the morning and your (ex)wife is fucking Human Target by three in the afternoon using the same time slot your child was conceived in and also where she did that one thing that one time on your birthday.

People say the bright side to losing your show is gaining time to spend with your family but I'm pretty sure that waking up next to your ex-showrunner spouse whom you haven't seen for two and a half years is pretty close to waking up next to that special someone you met the night before at Carlos n' Charlie's in Cancun on Spring Break.

His lengthy post is very funny, bitter, and oh-so-true. I've been in his position, feeling many of the same things that he did, more times than I care to remember…and it never gets any easier or less uncomfortable. 

4 thoughts on “Living on TV’s Death Row”

  1. Is it the loss of status; feeling like you are someone pretty special as show runner? Is it the loss of income? Why do you suppose that cancellation, for whatever reason, is so hard to take?

  2. Losing your job, or having a business fail, is never easy to take, no matter who you are or what industry you happen to be in. It isn’t unique to TV showrunners. When your show is canceled, it means that the series failed, that *you* failed to some degree. It also means that you, and the 200 people who worked for you, are now unemployed with no guarantee of future work. Of course it feels lousy…of course it leaves you bitter…of course it fills you with all kinds of insecurity. Who wouldn’t find that hard to take?


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